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22 arrested on drug trafficking charges

DICKINSON, N.D. — Authorities arrested 22 people on drug trafficking charges in Dickinson on Wednesday as a part of Operation Pipe Cleaner.

Fifteen of the 22 are from Dickinson, one is from Glen Ullin and the rest are from outside North Dakota. They range in age from 19 to 48, and face charges of possession of, delivery of or intent to deliver methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

North Dakota U.S. Attorney Tim Purdon has said defendants are increasing faster than cases in western North Dakota as organized drug trafficking follows the money to the Bakken.

The defendants face charges in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota, and in Stark County court.

“The cooperation and collaboration by all involved in Operation Pipe Cleaner can serve as a model for future investigations aimed at dismantling drug trafficking organizations in the Oil Patch,” Purdon said in a news release.

The investigation was a joint effort led by the FBI and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation, in collaboration with Purdon’s office, the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office and Stark County.

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